A masked gang shoved an elderly lady and left a security officer shaken before grabbing £23,000 in a dramatic robbery outside a post office in Dudley.
Two men armed with sledgehammers wrestled the cash box from the officer as he walked into the Post Office branch in Lifestyle Convenience store in Russells Hall Road, Pensnett, just after 9am yesterday morning.
During the incident an elderly woman was pushed into the shop and was left in tears. The robbers then smashed open the box and fled with the cash in a waiting getaway vehicle, hurling the hammer through the front windscreen of another waiting security vehicle.
Today, postmaster Joe Jawandha, who was forced to close his branch following the raid described the robbers as “idiots”, but said there was not much more he could do to protect the store.
It was the second time a security guard had been targeted at the store in a year. Last April, two men threatened a security officer with an axe to take the cash box and flee on a scrambler motorbike.
Mr Jawandha, who has been postmaster for five years, said: “It’s just the way the economy is going – you are getting people turning into different creatures, idiots, desperate for cash and prepared to do anything for it.”
He added: “It’s upsetting for me because a lot of people rely on this post office for their pensions each week and us being closed for a day after this puts everyone out, they haven’t just attacked us, they have attacked the community.
“I’m more concerned about the elderly lady who was pushed than the money taken at the end of the day – lives come before money and its lucky no-one was hurt.”
Counter assistant Naren Patel, who witnessed the box snatch and rang 999 for the police and paramedics to treat the officer and the pensioner, said: “Everyone was shaken by what happened. We had the officer and the elderly lady in here after it.”
West Midlands Police spokesman Brigg Ford said: “Police were called to reports of a security van being attacked outside Russell’s Road Post Office on the Russell’s Hall Estate in Dudley.”